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Is my sapphire real? 18k, platinum, diamonds, yes, but... sapphire...?!

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chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Glad to know the mystery is solved. I would never have guessed a garnet topped doublet. But then again, we are unable to examine the stone in person.
 

millyvanilly

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How interesting! I studied this forum rather intensively (shall we say obsessively
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) when buying my diamond about a year and a half ago, and would never have guessed there were fellow Londoners among the Ideal Rocks!

Pandora, yes he did! He said to put it in water (or a liquid with a high RI) under a lamp, with the stone in light and the eyes in shade, and to look at the long side - your description has clarified this for me. Would you believe he has sent me a beautiful loupe to get me started. Adrian Smith is my total hero. I would offer you to look at this stone but I''m very fortunate in that when I let the person who sold it to me know the situation, they were horrified and have very kindly offered me a refund so the ring will be going back. It doesn''t change the fact that it''s a stunning stone/ring and according to Adrian the blue garnet-topped doublets are quite rare, but I was hungering after my first yummy sapphire..! Thanks for the heads-up re. Holts. I contacted Gem-A before I found Adrian but indeed they told me as you have confirmed, that the testing lab is unfortunately now shut.
I''m in Barnet, North London, which just about counts as London! It''s quite a short drive in when there''s no traffic. Actually what Adrian was recommending to me were evening talks at Gem-A which he said were very reasonably priced, and recommended doing some research into free enthusiast clubs. I''m absolutely sure if you get in touch with him he''d be delighted to recommend courses more at your high level - he truly loves gemstones and the science of gemmology and is one of the most genial, kind people I''ve ever had the pleasure to deal with.

My jewellery class is at the University of Hertfordshire, it''s a 14 week course and we''re 4 or 5 weeks in. So far we''ve practised sawing, filing and soldering copper and brass, then we did ring-making - I was delirious at the end of that class, can''t believe how quick and easily the tutor went from a strip of silver to a polished, beautiful, stone-set ring!! - and this week we start chain-making. I''ll be completing my ring in the next week or two - I''ve got an emerald-cut CZ that fell out of an earring years ago, and I''ll bezel-set that in an O-profile ring. That''s the plan anyway! The course is very good and I''d recommend it. What I''d really like to learn is flush-setting faceted stones but it seems quite complicated in the books and the tutor doesn''t have direct experience of it. I see some trial and error ahead!

I agree with you about general interest in gemstones. I''ve been an isolated jewellery nut my whole life, I think people actually find it a little odd just how into it I am as once I get started on an aspect of it I find it hard to shut up - and till I started the class, and to be honest found pricescope, didn''t realise the same enthusiasm was also out there. I love all of it - design, metallurgy, and up till now diamond composition, now I''m realising the world of coloured gemstones is out there too. I love to look at and handle jewellery so often I offer to clean it for people when people come round, or if I''m round at theirs, and ask for a bowl, warm water, soap and a cocktail stick (I blunt it first and am very gentle) - after an initial strange look they normally relent, and then they start talking about it and asking questions about it which I do my best to answer, and I get so much out of presenting back to them their sparkling ring/bracelet! So - I get to indulge my passion by stealth!
 

Pandora II

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I wondered if it was the lectures at Gem-A. I''ve never managed to go to them as I never finished work early enough - but I''m hoping to go to some now I''m not working.

If you ever fancy a trip to look at the rocks at the Nat. History Museum or a jaunt to New Bond Street to harrass the sales assistants let me know - my husband would be very grateful!

My father is doing a jewellery course as well at the moment and loves it - I got him some nice cabachons on ebay to set (that didn''t matter if he wrecked them in the process) and some really beautiful ones - including a chrysophrase that looks like you could eat it - from Art Cut Gems - www.artcutgems.com

I keep away from the bench - I used to go and play in the factories when I was working for a big gold company and got banned after sticking my fingers together with industrial super-glue! I''d like to try faceting at some point, but for now I''m happy to let my father do the jewellery side (he used to be an eye-surgeon so I believe the skills are similar!)

I had a look at Adrian''s website and was very impressed - he has some pretty nice equipment on his list!
 

Diamond*Dana

Ideal_Rock
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Glad you have solved your mystery, it is a beautiful ring. Enjoy it!
 

LD

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/24/2009 2:19:02 PM
Author: Deia
It''s a very pretty ring regardless!


Date: 2/24/2009 9:25:04 AM
Author: Pandora II
Glad to see another Londoner (perhaps the ONLY other Londoner) on the board! I''m studying for the FGA at Gem-A in Greville Street - they used to have a testing lab, but they haven''t got funding at the moment so it''s shut. Holt''s in Hatton Garden will do lab work still I think.


I''d be interested to know about the other courses - I''ve got a year of maternity leave coming up in May and intend to spend a good part of it sans enfant...


I''m based in SE London - but pretty centrally, which bit are you from?


Sorry for threadjacking! - How are you liking your course at Gem-A Pandora? I was thinking of starting a course at the GIA ( probably distance learning because of my work) but I wouldn''t mind knowing what other options I have.

I remember when I bought my tourmaline at Holts that they told me they also offer courses at their Academy, but I remember thinking they were a bit expensive...

That''s makes us 3 Londoners now woot (although I''ve only been in London for a bit over a year now so don''t know if that counts
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)! Gems don''t seem that popular with people here
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from what I noticed anyway...

anyway again sorry to threadjack, just curious about the course!
4 actually! I''m a Londoner born and bred and still have the accent to prove it! MillyV - not far from you, Finchley!

Got to confess that I''m now oooop North in Manchester so have developed web feet!
 

Sharon101

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Date: 2/17/2009 8:15:34 AM
Author: millyvanilly
Thank you for all your lovely comments about the color!

And interesting diversions! I got thinking about quitto, and whether when it got to ten it goes back to ditto again...


Well anyway here's an amusing update - I went to scrap a gold chain today to pay for my ring habit
11.gif


The 'resident gemologist' had a look and said she thought it was glass.

Then I went to a jeweler down the road and he kindly had a look at it through a loupe.

'Sapphire' he said. Then paused. 'Is it blue?'
'Pardon?' I said
'I'm colorblind. Is it blue?'
'Oh! Er... yes, it is blue. But ...unrealistically blue, I think.'
After another long pause, and much squinting through the loupe:
'Definitely sapphire'. Another pause. 'Sapphire or synthetic sapphire. Definitely one of the two'.

I grinned and said thank you and skipped out.

Right! Methinks I need to find a lab...
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Am i right in thinking that even a gemologist won't be able to tell just by looking, that it needs to be sent off and tested with spectrometry and all that jazz? And that some sort of stone-ometer-type thing you can buy off the net won't give a reliable result either?

Diamonds seem so simple by comparison!!!
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I had such a good laugh over what your jeweller said....that `definitely sapphire..........or synthetic sapphire` comment. LOL
Talk about being thorough
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Anyway good luck with the results I hope its real!!!!

ETA- just found out the results, and found every part of your story really interesting. That appraiser is amazing, loved his site.

And glad you got a refund. It obviously pays to get an appraisal.

(Did you read that story on his site about the 4 carat stone that turned out to be a very `little` fortune. That was interesting too how the family all believed it was a very rare expensive piece.
 

millyvanilly

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Pandora that''s so interesting - my dad is also a trained surgeon (he''s a FRCS) but after not getting a consultant''s post in the 70s became a GP to support his two lovely daughters
17.gif
. Perhaps there''s a precision tooling gene...
However the extent of his interest in jewellery has been as an unwilling investor in my early jewellery habit. He is actually thinking of going back to uni to study biochemistry or suchlike. That said I value his opinion above anyone else''s on whether a piece suits me or not - he has a real aesthetic eye! I''ll bet your father will produce some beautiful jewellery.
I would be very happy indeed to take you up on your offer! I haven''t been to the NHM since I was little... as for New Bond Street, well my university holidays were often spent stalking the windows of the fine jewellers for hours and hours... I think it must raise endorphin levels or something, good for the health, ahem, yes.
I''ve also been scanning the Gem-A website to see if they do field trips in the South East! They have one scheduled in Scotland soon. A jewel-hunt! YUM.
Checked out artcut gems - thanks for that link, they seem like really good people to deal with. There are a couple of people posting on here who appear to have some lovely opals to shift - they sort of pop up on every opal thread with a website/some pics! They''ve got me all hungry for opals now and I love some of the ones Richard has.
I had my class tonight again, they did indeed move onto chain-making. I dutifully listened then carried on with my ring! I think this chain-making is perhaps not my thing.... it consists of creating a number of fine wire rings by annealing (heating to make soft) then coiling copper, gold or silver wire, cutting through it to produce a series of identical rings, then soldering them so there is no longer a join. They can then be shaped and linked to each other to form chain. Alternatively the wire can be ''knitted'' as on a loom. There are infinite ways in which this can be done. However to my philestine eyes many of the results ended up looking like they were made by a hobbyist in five minutes or salvaged from an industrial machine, despite being a potentially labour-intensive process. I''m sure it''s that I need to do some more research and wise up on this subject a bit in order to start feeling the Chain Love... As far as my ring, I didn''t realise how difficult bezel-setting a stone with 8 sides is going to be - I''m going to order some narrow sheet silver, I already have a wee saw, and I''ll have to start doing homework. I think I need to cut out the bezel from the sheet in a strip the shape of which will somewhat resemble an elongated octagon, if it is to fold up with a conical enough profile to provide a ''shelf'' for the stone. I''ll have to calculate all the angles and suchlike, my tutor couldn''t help with that. She is much more freeform/handmade-loving - I on the other hand love all that geometry/precision business!

Hello LovingDiamonds! and Deia! We constitute the UK chapter of Pricescope now. If there was a Pricescope Nato we''d have a vote. Finchley - 10mins drive! We may even have gone to the same school...! Or played each other at some disproportionately competitive north-London-school-type sport...

Thank you for your lovely words Sharon101. Came across your post regarding your later conversion to opals and thought that was such a nice story, so reflective as to how my own lifelong interest in jewellery has gone - I remember when I loathed collet settings and my eye disregarded any stone set as such. Now it''s not only my current favourite setting - I''m trying to make one!!
 

Pandora II

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Date: 2/26/2009 9:36:39 PM
Author: millyvanilly

Pandora that''s so interesting - my dad is also a trained surgeon (he''s a FRCS) but after not getting a consultant''s post in the 70s became a GP to support his two lovely daughters
17.gif
. Perhaps there''s a precision tooling gene...
However the extent of his interest in jewellery has been as an unwilling investor in my early jewellery habit. He is actually thinking of going back to uni to study biochemistry or suchlike. That said I value his opinion above anyone else''s on whether a piece suits me or not - he has a real aesthetic eye! I''ll bet your father will produce some beautiful jewellery.
I would be very happy indeed to take you up on your offer! I haven''t been to the NHM since I was little... as for New Bond Street, well my university holidays were often spent stalking the windows of the fine jewellers for hours and hours... I think it must raise endorphin levels or something, good for the health, ahem, yes.
I''ve also been scanning the Gem-A website to see if they do field trips in the South East! They have one scheduled in Scotland soon. A jewel-hunt! YUM.
Checked out artcut gems - thanks for that link, they seem like really good people to deal with. There are a couple of people posting on here who appear to have some lovely opals to shift - they sort of pop up on every opal thread with a website/some pics! They''ve got me all hungry for opals now and I love some of the ones Richard has.

I had my class tonight again, they did indeed move onto chain-making. I dutifully listened then carried on with my ring! I think this chain-making is perhaps not my thing.... it consists of creating a number of fine wire rings by annealing (heating to make soft) then coiling copper, gold or silver wire, cutting through it to produce a series of identical rings, then soldering them so there is no longer a join. They can then be shaped and linked to each other to form chain. Alternatively the wire can be ''knitted'' as on a loom. There are infinite ways in which this can be done. However to my philestine eyes many of the results ended up looking like they were made by a hobbyist in five minutes or salvaged from an industrial machine, despite being a potentially labour-intensive process. I''m sure it''s that I need to do some more research and wise up on this subject a bit in order to start feeling the Chain Love... As far as my ring, I didn''t realise how difficult bezel-setting a stone with 8 sides is going to be - I''m going to order some narrow sheet silver, I already have a wee saw, and I''ll have to start doing homework. I think I need to cut out the bezel from the sheet in a strip the shape of which will somewhat resemble an elongated octagon, if it is to fold up with a conical enough profile to provide a ''shelf'' for the stone. I''ll have to calculate all the angles and suchlike, my tutor couldn''t help with that. She is much more freeform/handmade-loving - I on the other hand love all that geometry/precision business!

Hello LovingDiamonds! and Deia! We constitute the UK chapter of Pricescope now. If there was a Pricescope Nato we''d have a vote. Finchley - 10mins drive! We may even have gone to the same school...! Or played each other at some disproportionately competitive north-London-school-type sport...

Thank you for your lovely words Sharon101. Came across your post regarding your later conversion to opals and thought that was such a nice story, so reflective as to how my own lifelong interest in jewellery has gone - I remember when I loathed collet settings and my eye disregarded any stone set as such. Now it''s not only my current favourite setting - I''m trying to make one!!

That is VERY strange - my father also eventually did a career change and became a GP - although he did a lot of operating as a GP (vasectomies, plastics etc) and worked one day a week at the hospital doing eyes - to support his THREE daughters - and a son!

He and his father were both passionate about gems and jewellery and my grandfather especially bought/commissioned a lot of bling for my grandmother. There were always gemmology books in the bookcase which I used to read from when I was tiny - I loved the photos of people panning for stones and really wanted to have a go!

Rick at ArtCutGems is a specialist on opals so definitely drop him a line if you are looking in that direction. I think there are links to some articles he has written on his site.

Hmm, chain making - that reminds me why I keep well away from jewellery manufacture... I used to watch the girls in the factories make chain and while I was amazed at just how precisely they could do it, I would have gone mad after the first hour. My father seems to rather enjoy it for some strange reason.

I have an account with Cooksons who are excellent for any equipment that you need (except gemstones IMHO). I bought my father a load of silver clay for Christmas - shame it''s as expensive as it is as it''s great fun. You definitely need the book that explains the shrinkage percentages though.

Let me know if there are some dates that you would be up for a trip to the NHM (their new gem gallery is incredible) - sprog is due in mid-May, so am still able to walk at the moment!
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/25/2009 5:00:20 PM
Author: LovingDiamonds

4 actually! I''m a Londoner born and bred and still have the accent to prove it! MillyV - not far from you, Finchley!

Got to confess that I''m now oooop North in Manchester so have developed web feet!
I''m so jealous of all you ladies who live in England. I''ve always wanted to travel there and see Westminister Abbey and all the historical places. Ever since I was 7 years old, I''ve been a nutcase for English History, in particular anything to do with Elizabeth Tudor (aka. "Good Queen Bess"). Well, sorry for my little threadjack, but I just wanted to mention my love for your country.
 

Lady_Disdain

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Date: 2/26/2009 9:36:39 PM
Author: millyvanilly

Pandora that''s so interesting - my dad is also a trained surgeon (he''s a FRCS) but after not getting a consultant''s post in the 70s became a GP to support his two lovely daughters
17.gif
. Perhaps there''s a precision tooling gene...
However the extent of his interest in jewellery has been as an unwilling investor in my early jewellery habit. He is actually thinking of going back to uni to study biochemistry or suchlike. That said I value his opinion above anyone else''s on whether a piece suits me or not - he has a real aesthetic eye! I''ll bet your father will produce some beautiful jewellery.
I would be very happy indeed to take you up on your offer! I haven''t been to the NHM since I was little... as for New Bond Street, well my university holidays were often spent stalking the windows of the fine jewellers for hours and hours... I think it must raise endorphin levels or something, good for the health, ahem, yes.
I''ve also been scanning the Gem-A website to see if they do field trips in the South East! They have one scheduled in Scotland soon. A jewel-hunt! YUM.
Checked out artcut gems - thanks for that link, they seem like really good people to deal with. There are a couple of people posting on here who appear to have some lovely opals to shift - they sort of pop up on every opal thread with a website/some pics! They''ve got me all hungry for opals now and I love some of the ones Richard has.

I had my class tonight again, they did indeed move onto chain-making. I dutifully listened then carried on with my ring! I think this chain-making is perhaps not my thing.... it consists of creating a number of fine wire rings by annealing (heating to make soft) then coiling copper, gold or silver wire, cutting through it to produce a series of identical rings, then soldering them so there is no longer a join. They can then be shaped and linked to each other to form chain. Alternatively the wire can be ''knitted'' as on a loom. There are infinite ways in which this can be done. However to my philestine eyes many of the results ended up looking like they were made by a hobbyist in five minutes or salvaged from an industrial machine, despite being a potentially labour-intensive process. I''m sure it''s that I need to do some more research and wise up on this subject a bit in order to start feeling the Chain Love... As far as my ring, I didn''t realise how difficult bezel-setting a stone with 8 sides is going to be - I''m going to order some narrow sheet silver, I already have a wee saw, and I''ll have to start doing homework. I think I need to cut out the bezel from the sheet in a strip the shape of which will somewhat resemble an elongated octagon, if it is to fold up with a conical enough profile to provide a ''shelf'' for the stone. I''ll have to calculate all the angles and suchlike, my tutor couldn''t help with that. She is much more freeform/handmade-loving - I on the other hand love all that geometry/precision business!

Hello LovingDiamonds! and Deia! We constitute the UK chapter of Pricescope now. If there was a Pricescope Nato we''d have a vote. Finchley - 10mins drive! We may even have gone to the same school...! Or played each other at some disproportionately competitive north-London-school-type sport...

Thank you for your lovely words Sharon101. Came across your post regarding your later conversion to opals and thought that was such a nice story, so reflective as to how my own lifelong interest in jewellery has gone - I remember when I loathed collet settings and my eye disregarded any stone set as such. Now it''s not only my current favourite setting - I''m trying to make one!!

Chain making - argh! Ok, I admit that I have cheated in the past - bought the rings ready made and just did the weaving together. Have you tried wire chains, done with a knitting or crochet needle? That is very theurapeutic and relaxing! Drawing the wire down to 0.3mm - not so much.

Flush setting facetted stones isn''t very difficult, but it really helps to see someone do it first. I read all the books, etc, but it only clicked when I watched one being done.

Does your school have a cone punching block? If so, I would score the silver for the octagon, but instead of folding it right away, I would solder it as a round bezel, then use the punch to make a cone. Then, once the angle is right, use a set of nylon pliers to mark the pre scored folds, making the octagon.

A few resources (I think you may already know most of them, but they bear repeating!): Ganoksin.com (sign up for the Orchid list - it ranges from extremely technical discussions to simple, beginner''s questions), Hans Meevis has some wonderful tutorials, BenchTV has several free videos (the ones on platinum also have a great deal of general techniques) and there are some interesting videos on youtube as well.
 

millyvanilly

Rough_Rock
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Argh! My internet has gone kaput and I have been on the phone to my ISP for 4 hours today... that includes 15 repeated prayings of the single song they use as ''hold music'' interspersed with empty promises about moving up the queue... so I am currently at my sisters siphoning off web access before she throws me out...

Lady Disdain - that''s brilliant, I knew none of that, and none of those links - I will be back with more questions!!

Pandora - well for various reasons I am pretty darn free at the moment, for pretty darn a lot of the time! Feel free to email me at sthework at yahoo.com. And I will steal into an internet cafe if the good engineers have not rectified my frequencies in the promised 24-48 hour time window...

And now I am being gently encouraged to leave the hospitality of my kind sibling...

She''s looking at me like this every time I say ''five more minutes. Two. Ok, one. Go on, count to 60'':

20.gif
 
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